Japanese Programme

Inside of a Japanese programme for Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood

This image of inside a Japanese programme for Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men was kindly sent in by Mike. Disney's live-action movie had its premier in England on 13th March 1952 but was not released in Japan until 22nd January 1955 which is probably when this article was produced.

I would have liked to have seen more pages, as it is always fascinating to see how the movie (and of course the legend) is presented in different cultures.

But what we can see are stills from the movie that have been posted on this blog before. In particular is the rare glimpse of the filming of the scene in which Robin Hood (Richard Todd) and his men throw Little John (James Robertson Justice) into the stream (below).

The filming at Denham Studios

This is a clearer image of the picture used in the Japanese programme and we see the huge Technicolor cameras being used (by possibly the director Ken Annakin) at one of the sound stages at Denham Studios. Also note how the area of the stream is still dry before being filled with water for the particular scene.

Walt Disney with Elton Hayes (left) and Richard Todd (right)

Above is a slightly different picture (than in the Japanese programme) of Walt Disney feeling the weight of a helmet, on the Nottingham Castle set during his visit to Denham Studios in June 1951. Alongside him is Elton Hayes (as the minstrel Allan-a-Dale) and Richard Todd (Robin Hood ‘disguised as a soldier of the Sheriff’). In his autobiography (Caught in the Act, Hutchinson 1986) Richard Todd describes the ‘solid’ dungeon walls as being constructed of pure wood and plaster and the ‘metal’ ring made of papier mache'.

Filming of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men began on 30th April 1951. Ken Annakin, the director of the movie, in his autobiography (So You Wanna Be a Director, Tomahawk 2001) says that 10 weeks into shooting, Disney made a surprise visit to the set. Annakin describes how the great man had photos taken with the stars of the film in the Nottingham Square set on the lot. This also included ‘numerous’ pictures with Joan Rice (Maid Marian) on the archery field.

This fits with Richard Todd's (Robin Hood) memoirs where he describes Disney coming over from London to Denham near the end of June 1951 and how he was thoroughly pleased with the way things were going.

Coinciding with Walt’s stopover, the then Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) paid a visit to the Denham Studios, accompanied only by her lady-in-waiting and equerry. The future queen was shown by Walt Disney and the art director Carmen Dillon around the outside sets and the costume department. Perce Pearce, the producer of Walt Disney’s Robin Hood, insisted that filming should continue as normal as that is what the young princess wanted to see. So for about twenty minutes she stood quietly in a dark corner, while production carried on, then gave a friendly wave and slipped out of the stage. I wonder what scene it was she saw being filmed?

To read more about the production of the film, Walt Disney, or see the picture gallery please click on the labels below.


Clement Glen said...

Japanese Programme

Special thanks to Mike for sending this in.

Neil said...

That is a wonderful Behind the Scenes shot of Little John being close to a ducking - but looks like it will be without water !!
I sent this same picture in to you some time ago but you have managed to locate a much clearer one. This is a wonderful post you have done here Clement - as always.

Clement Glen said...

Many thanks Neil. I expect using those huge Technicolor cameras made shooting the various angles difficult, which may be why the 'ducking' scene was shot afterwards.